family

How early is too early to decorate for Christmas?

The other morning I woke up and started my day in the normal way. But then, something odd happened: Jack Frost nipped at my toes!

Here in sunny California, we don’t wear socks for 9 months out of the year, so when I reached for my fluffiest socks, I realized something ridiculously exciting – CHRISTMAS IS COMING!!

I tried to hide my Cheshire grin, so my family wouldn’t see (and judge) the over-eager, trigger-happy Christmas Sherlock welling up inside my soul.

Fluffy socks are the first Christmas clue.

The first clue had been discovered, on that cold October morning.

But alas, I had to wait for the Christmas bug to catch on a bit more before donning my jingle bell earrings. The whole world doesn’t share my eagerness, and I know it can bring out some early-bird Scrooges if I’m not careful. But make no mistake, the magic of Christmas was already in the chilly fluffy-sock air.

I was patient…on the outside.

Cut to about a month later: as we all sat around in a Thanksgiving induced turkey coma, watching our annual family movie-a-thon. That little bit of glee started building again, as I recognized the second seasonal clue. Tomorrow is the day AFTER Thanksgiving!

Surely that’s soon enough to start decking the halls and sprinkling green and red glitter like it’s real Christmas magic…right?

But no, it’s still too early. Gotta get the hubby and teenagers on board.

Nobody was stirring from that turkey coma to get the staple gun and untangle the lights.

Okay. I’ll wait. I can be patient, right?

A full week went by as I “patiently” waited for my magic to be “acceptable” to the outside world – even though secretly in my heart we could totally have decorated for Christmas in August.

Then! While driving the boys to one of their many teenage activities, I finally spied it.

My inner Christmas Sherlock did loop-de-loops in my stomach (or throat or heart or somewhere around there). It’s heeeeere! Without even trying to contain myself I squealed, “Look look look! Don’t miss it!”

The teenagers, who regularly think I’m losing my mind, excitedly looked around for why I was freaking out. I gleefully pointed at the once empty field and exclaimed,

“They’re building the fence for the Christmas trees!”

This was of course followed by many teenaged eye rolls. Those come by the dozen around these parts. But those simple little beat up makeshift wooden fences signaled the start of something amazing, and nobody could deny it.

So, then I’m all in.

I started slowly at first (so as not to freak out the hubby too terribly much), and I played a Christmas song here and there. That went well, so I simmered some cider on the stove (here’s my favorite recipe). Then, I found the perfect Christmas wreath for the front door.

Slowly it all came together and the Christmas spirit started to grow in everyone around me. I saw eyes starting to sparkle and people starting to hum and wave at perfect strangers.

Until that one day happened – the one when you walk into the mall and then…BAM!

is it ever really too early to unleash the Christmas spirit.

It’s like someone yelled, “release the Christmas spirit!” We walked into the mall to be greeted with Christmas muzak being piped through the ceiling, and an entire Christmas village for Santa and his Elves.

Every surface had light-donned, ornament-topped wreaths.

Everyone had a red or green shopping bag – surely filled with Christmas gifts. A faint smell of gingerbread was in the air.

When I saw no fewer than four different people wearing jingle-bell clad sweaters, I knew that not even the teenagers could refute the Christmas spirit in the air.

My inner Christmas-Sherlock was transformed into Cindy Lou Who when I heard a mall security guard humming jingle bells under his breath.

That moment when Sherlock turned into Cindy Lou Who.

My husband and I looked at each other and knew that it was time to go home.

Our boys like to “surprise” us each year, and somehow we knew today would be the day. They still don’t know that we’ve caught on. The day we hit the mall for some Christmas shopping, they quickly pull out the tree and set it up.

They look through all of our dusty Christmas boxes in the attic, to decorate the tree with their very favorite ornaments. Each year, we see those old favorites and some new surprises as well.

We came home with hot chocolate for everyone and ooohed and ahhhed at the tree.

Isn’t it silly how family traditions just form themselves sometimes? And how they can pack so much nostalgia and togetherness into a seemingly unimportant series of clues.

Baby's First Christmas Tree Heirloom Ornament.

Shop for Baby’s First Christmas ornaments at Little Girl’s Pearls

So still now, each year, our boys find or make a new ornament to add to the tree.

We add the date somewhere on it, so we know which year it was added to our collection. Then, when they are grown and on their own, I’ll pack up all of their ornaments from over the years and present them with their own little box of special decorations for their very first on-their-own Christmas tree. Maybe I’ll keep a few for my own. ♥

And then, when the wonderfully delicious peppermint stick chaos of Christmas is over, I carefully take down ornaments from the tree and lovingly put them into the box for next year.

Wrapping them in paper and placing them gently in their little compartments for safe keeping. I reach for the big red Christmas ball and my boys start singing at me. I had bumped the little button that recorded them singing “Frosty the Snowman” so very many years ago, when their voices were tiny.

I cried…just a little bit.

Not with sadness, but because I realized the best part of Christmas was them – my family. Our family movie nights, our rousing card games and cozy soup nights, driving around the city with Grandma and Grandpa sipping cocoa and gazing at twinkling Christmas lights.

These are memories that we will cherish forever. ♥

I’ve had oodles of ideas over the years to create a special heirloom ornament for you to add to your collection. This year, I was finally able to bring the magic all together.

I’m so excited to introduce our very first Heirloom Keepsake Ornament.

Personalized baby and grandparent Christmas tree keepsake ornaments.

Shop Personalized Heirloom Family Christmas Tree Ornaments at Little Girl’s Pearls

It’s personalized with their name, the year, a special message – whatever you’d like – to make it extra meaningful just for your family. Because family is such a big and beautiful part of the Christmas season.

My heart’s desire is to offer a new ornament each year, so she can collect them for when she has a tree of her very own.

So pop on over to the shop & let me know how you’d like your very first special LGP ornament to be personalized for your family, from me and mine.

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3 heirloom keepsake Christmas tree ornaments for grandparents and baby.

Shop for heirloom family Christmas tree ornaments

I currently have a limited number of these heirloom personalized Christmas tree ornaments, so head on over to the shop right now.

Wishing you the most magical Christmas. Now pass me the cider…and maybe some Kleenex.

~ Julie

How to embrace your family’s winter chaos.

If it’s raining – or snowing again, and the kiddos have been cooped up for what seems like an eternity. They are wiggly and whiny and sometimes you feel like the weather tries to suck the joy out of life.

One quick tip to help embrace family chaos this winter.

If that sounds like your typical winter day, it might be time to embrace a little Hygge in your family life. But if trying to achieve that level of perfect coziness stresses you out, have no fear – throw a little Craic in there for balance and everything will work out just fine – trust me.

Definition of Hygge and Craic and how to embrace it in your family this winter.

I know the hype is all about embracing Hygge, and don’t get me wrong, I adore fluffy socks, pillow forts and eating by candlelight as much as the next mama. But striving to find that level of calm with my rowdy boys gives me anxiety!

Family Hygge doesn't have to be perfect this winter.

We have very Irish roots in this household, and I was tickled pink to find a name for what we’ve already been doing all these years with our kiddos. It’s called Craic, and though it doesn’t have a direct translation, it basically sums up the raucous joy that is shared when good friends or family come together and enjoy each others’ company.

Ideas on how to embrace your family's winter chaos this year.

Craic describes our family nights to a tee! Learning about it has helped me to embrace our less-than-perfect Hygge family model. We definitely dig eating home-cooked meals by candlelight & pulling out the blankies and pillows for a good old-fashioned family movie in a tidy and warm space. But we also enjoy a rousing game of ultimate uno or exploding kittens, around these parts. Family game night is epic around here. It’s too loud and full of craziness to be considered Hygge, but it brings us closer together & it makes wonderful memories just as much a calm Hygge evening does.
And, let’s face it, a little Craic helps to get the wiggles out during a big storm.

Embrace a little Craic in your family this winter to balance out the coziness of Hygge.

I know it’s easy to get sucked in to technology – especially on those blustery days, but let’s make a pact that we’ll work on some family-care during the next big storm, no matter what that entails. Whether your family needs some calming Hygge or some rousing Craic, don’t let perfection hold you back!

No matter what you choose, you’ll be making amazing memories with your kiddos and starting traditions without even trying. They could be traditions that are passed down for generations…or not, and that’s okay.
Embrace the calm AND the craziness of family life and enjoy the ride. They grow up so quickly, I don’t want you to miss it.

Mom, how to stop stressing over Hygge this winter with your family.

I’d love to hear about your favorite family traditions during storms. Comment below, and give us some ideas for our next winter storm!

Life’s too short for Black Friday!

Let me paint you a picture: you’re standing outside in the freezing cold at 4am with a mob of strangers, all clamoring to get the latest and greatest toy or tech.

Mama, Life's too short for Black Friday and what to do instead.

You think you’re calm and just here to pick up something perfect for…someone – until you hear that nagging voice in the back of your brain that sucks you into the urgency and madness of the whole thing.
That voice is the voice of FOMO (fear of missing out): it’s totally a real thing, and it’s trying to ruin your Christmas

Black Friday madness has become an expected – and even celebrated – part of the holidays for a lot of people. But I want to challenge that.

When you stand in line before dawn – with your teeth chattering, hands wrapped around your hot coffee, and wholeheartedly wishing you were still back in your bed, ask yourself this: is it worth it?

When I ask myself that question, the resounding answer is, “No! This is not the start I want for the season that I love so dearly.”

all the reasons you should stay home on Black Friday and what to do instead

What if this year, you chose to:

  • Sleep in with that snuggly toddler who climbed into your bed at midnight,
  • Wake up slow and make pancakes while your kiddos hang out around the breakfast table
  • Simmer some cider on the stove, so the house smells amazing,
  • Make Black Friday a family day instead of an insane shopping day!
  • If you skipped Black Friday, how would your life change? How would your perspective on the season change?

Now, don’t get me wrong. When my boys were little, we spent a couple of those Black Friday mornings frantically shopping in the dark with the hordes of other shoppers. Last year, I got sucked in to the online frenzy of deals – afraid I might miss out.

But guess what? I didn’t get even one single thing that became something they loved and valued. In all that craziness, I didn’t find the perfectly meaningful gift or start a wonderful family tradition. What’s worse? It got my holiday self off on the wrong foot.



So we are purposefully UNPLUGGING FOR THE ENTIRETY OF BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND.

Mom, here's what you should really be doing on Black Friday, and it's not shopping.

Yeap, for the first time in my 19 years in business, I will be doing nothing but making memories with my kids. No shopping. No lines. No sales. No insanity. Just some good, old fashion bonding time with my husband and teenagers.

I’m picturing family hikes, lazy breakfasts, a great movie or two, a trip the the beach, a round of pool, and of course, ultimate Uno.

Why you should stay home on Black Friday and what to do instead.

Just writing that makes my heart rate slow down a bit. And at the same time, I am giddy at the thought of starting the season with some family fun – forgoing the insanity.

So, as a small business owner, I have decided to embrace this professionally as well. Instead of sending a crazy sale with lights flashing at you, screaming to buy stuff, I’m not sending out one single sales email during that weekend. You’re already bombarded enough as it is! I want to be a part of your respite & peace, not your overwhelm.

Mom, let's skip black Friday this year, and let's do this instead.

Our 2018 holiday sale is over – just in time to rest and relax and make some memories with our family. Did you miss it, no worries and no FOMO here! If you want to get a reminder of future sales & get more ideas on how to start family traditions & make memories with your family, Join the Little Girl’s Pearls Family, because you’re my favorite, and giving joy to the people I care about is my favorite part of the season! Way better than shopping lines.

Wishing you the very loveliest holiday season and the very delicious-est cider too,
~ Julie ♥

Snuggle in for the Season

Snuggle in for the season - cozy products for winter.

The season of cozy fires and sipping tea while watching the rain is just around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited! Oh autumn, I love you so very much. Is it your favorite season, too?

I’ve put together my very first Fashmate collection just in time for the snuggle season. Head on over and take a peek to find out where you can get all of these lovely hygge-happy goodies for snuggle time with your sweet girl today.

  • Sparkle up your snuggle in this matching mama and daughter “read to me” pearl set (because matching is the best)
  • Wrap her up with you in the coziest blankie (extra gold stars if it’s super fluffy)
  • Use these adorable mother daughter hot cocoa mugs with birds on them…because…birds
  • Cover your toesies in the snuggliest matching fluffy socks to keep warm
  • And dive into an entire treasury of wonderful children’s stories to share together

You can find these products over in my Fashmate collection.

I would love to know your family’s favorite snuggle accessory for blustery days.. Share one in the comments below, so I can go add another cozy thing to my own wishlist.

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snuggle in for the season round up of cozy products

10 Diaper Bag Essentials

Don’t leave home without any of these diaper bag must-haves!

10 Diaper Bag Essentials - all the things you need to make sure that you have what you need when you're out and about with baby. ♥ Little Girl's Pearls #diaperbag #diaperbagessentials #whattoputinadiaperbag #perfectdiaperbag #diaperbagideas #littlegirlspearls

During your pre-baby days, you may have been able to breeze out of the door with a small handbag, your lipstick & phone. These days, you probably feel like it’s impossible to go anywhere without bringing half the nursery along. Here are a few essential items you should have in your diaper bag. (Hopefully this list helps you to confidently leave home with less, rather than lugging an overfilled bag around that is four times the weight of your baby.)  Better yet, make up an extra diaper bag and keep it in the car…just in case.  You never know!

Diapers and Wipes

This is obvious but, believe it or not, it does happen that moms forget – face it, you’re exhausted. It seems to happen when they are needed most – like on those quick, 5-minute trips to the store and baby decides it’s an excellent time to have a blow-out.  Seriously, remind me to tell you the Disneyland story – it *may* have involved us throwing away a lovely cloth diaper, because…ewwwww!!  You can never have too many spare diapers & wipies.

Extra Outfit for Baby

This is another thing that follows Murphy’s law: If you pack it, you will never need it, leave home without it and your little one is sure to make a big mess. Don’t risk it!

Hand Sanitizer

Because the world can be dirty and gross and you want to keep your sweet little one clean and germ-free. Plus her little hands touch everything & then always end up in her mouth.

Baby Socks

Socks have a sneaky way of disappearing. Especially if it’s chilly out, her little tootsies will get chilly when her socks decide to wander off.  They so tiny, an extra pair takes up almost no room at all in your diaper bag.

Water and Snacks for You

Have something handy for you for when hunger and thirst strike you and you need an energy boost. If you are breastfeeding, you need to stay well-hydrated and have plenty of snacks between meals to keep your production up.  Nuts make a great high-protein snack for when mama hunger strikes (or you forget to eat breakfast…).

Nursing Cover

Speaking of breastfeeding, you absolutely shouldn’t feel obligated to cover up in public, but sometimes a situation arises when it’s nice to have a cute and stylish nursing cover handy to cover up with if you need to feed your darling while out-and-about, especially if it’s chilly.

Changing Mat

Changing tables in stores and restaurants often have a place to change baby but more often than not, those paper table liners are out of stock. Have your own to be certain you always have a sanitary place to lay baby for a change!  They have so many stylish options now that fold up into a little pouch.  How cute & convenient!

Extra Pacifier

Like socks, these tend to go missing at the most inopportune times. Have an extra (one, two, three…), so you aren’t left having to make a run to the nearest Target for more.

Diaper Cream

Diaper rash can be pretty nasty on some poor little sweeties. Have cream handy just in case a rash begins to rear its ugly head so you can nip it in the bud even when you’re out and about.

Baby Toy

Babies are definitely wiggly little creatures – especially during diaper changing. A good toy to keep in your bag is a teething toy to not only serve as a distraction but help soothe those sore gums when teeth are popping though!

+ + + + +

What are your diaper bag must haves?  I’d love to know your best tips and tricks on your diaper bag idea list!

Throw a Boho Chic Themed 1st Birthday

Celebrate your little princess with a boho–inspired birthday party.

DIY Boho Chic First Birthday Party Ideas and Inspiration ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #diyboho #diybirthday #diy #firstbirthday #1stbirthdayinspiration #firstbirthdayideas

If you are looking for a unique, chic theme for your little girl’s 1st birthday party, why not consider having a boho chic theme? A breathtakingly beautiful party with simplistic details is perfect for your precious baby girl. From a cake adorned in flowers to floral crowns and pearls, this is the perfect theme for a little girl. Here are some tips to make it happen!

Pastel Party Favors

Jenn over at Hostess with the Mostes suggests sending your guests home with cute party favors, like these Pastel Animal Jar Party Favors. All you need is a cute glass jar, plastic animal toys, and a little pastel paint. Fill the jar with tiny knick-knacks or candy!

Boho Chic Birthday - Pastel Animal Jar Party Favors ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #pastelpartyfavors #pastelfavors #pastelparty #pastelbirthday #bohochic #firstbirthdayideas

Photo from Hostess with the Mostess’ toddler Boho Birthday Party

Outdoor Teepee

Create an outdoor teepee for excellent photo opportunities and wows from your guests – tiny and big alike. If the weather is not favorable, move it inside! It’s a perfectly chic prop for your party décor.  This is the lace teepee we used for our flower field tea party.  We found the most beautiful vintage lace table cloth and simply draped it around 3 sticks tied together with a rope.  It was Boho fabulous.

Vintage Lace Tablecloth Teepee for her Boho Chic 1st Birthday Party ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #diybirthdayteepee #diyteepee #diy #firstbirthday #1stbirthdayinspiration #laceteepee

 

Don Her in Pearls

Nothing says chic like a gorgeous row of pearls. From pearl bracelets and necklaces to earrings, you can adorn her in beautiful birthday pearls that become a keepsake for her whole life.  A lovely tradition is to tuck them away for her wedding day – a beautiful way to celebrate how much she’s grown!  Check out the baby-to-bride pearls, so lovely!

Boho Chic Pearls for Girls - a great idea for her birthday party! ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #bohobirthdaygift #firstbirthdaygift #birthdaygift #firstbirthday #1stbirthdaygift #firstbirthdayideas

Beautiful keepsake pearl jewelry for girls - perfect for her first birthday gift. ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #specialbirthday #birthdaykeepsake #firstbirthdaygift #firstbirthday #babytobride #firstbirthdayideas

 

Floral Cake

Order a plain white cake for your party, in whatever shape or size you prefer. Either have the bakery add fresh and/or edible flowers for a gorgeous boho chic cake!  Or you can do what they did for Amelia’s beautiful outdoor first birthday party over at Style Me Pretty – they added silk flowers.  You can even wash them off after to save them as a beautiful keepsake and brighten up her big girl room!

Boho Chic First Birthday Easy DIY Flower Cake ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #diyboho #diybirthday #diy #firstbirthdaycake #smashcake #bohosmashcake #bohocake #flowercakeBeautiful 1st Birthday Boho Chic Floral Smash cake photo from Style Me Pretty.

Want more?
♥ starting family traditions
♥ help with finding her perfect gift
♥ info & updates on sparkly things for girls
♥ adding cherished keepsakes to your family



Decorate with Paper Flowers

You can’t really get more boho than by adding tons of flowers. If you aren’t up for spending the money on real flowers, make paper flowers and place them throughout the party room! They will absolutely add a boho chic vibe to your décor!  After the party, you can decorate her big girl room with the flowers – not only a lovely memento of her first birthday bash, but something whimsical to cherish!!  Anastasia over at PaperPro Tutorials has some amazing DIY paper flower ideas, tips and tricks!

Boho Chic DIY Paper Flower Decorations ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #diyboho #diybirthday #diy #firstbirthday #diypaperflowers #paperflowertutorial

Photo from Anastasia’s PaperPro Tutorials

Darling Photo Banner

Take photos of your baby or have a special photo shoot of her in a boho-style outfit. Hang them from a banner of twine!  We just did this for our son’s 18th birthday and included photos from his entire life!  We then boxed up all the photos in a pretty box with some tissue paper and mailed them to his Great Grandma & Grandpa who couldn’t attend the party…such a lovely keepsake.  I can’t believe he’s already 18.  Go snuggle those babies, mama!!  They grow so very quickly.

Easy Twine Photo Gallery to celebrate her first birthday in Boho Chic style. ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #littlegirlspearls #bohochic #diyboho #diybirthday #diy #diyphotodisplay #easyphotodisplay #firstbirthdayideas

Bunnies + Tea Printable Valentines Day Cards for Kids

Are you searching for quick, easy, and adorable FREE printable Valentine cards for her classroom? Check out these precious bunnies with balloons, flowers and tea cups - they'll save you hours of glue and glitter + they're the sweetest! https://blog.littlegirlspearls.com/bunnies-tea-printable-valentines-day-cards-for-kids/ ♥ Little Girl's Pearls | #valentine #valentinesforkids #valentinecards #classroomvalentines #bunnies #teacups #pastel #freeprintable

Your kiddo’s Valentine’s Day party is creeping up.  If you haven’t already finished up her Valentine’s cards, let me help you out!  I put together six sweet tea loving bunny Valentines for your little love bug to take to school for her classmates.

Print them now to save yourself a night of glue and stickers and glitter…everywhere!

Click HERE to download the adorable free printable Valentine Cards for Kids - featuring precious bunnies, balloons, tea cups, and adorable flowers. | Little Girl's Pearls #printablevalentines #printablecards #valentinesforkids #classroomvalentines
Join me on Pinterest for more lovely and beautiful ideas to start traditions with your family.

Anatomy of Fancy Schmancy Gift Wrap

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  I am SO excited!  After 18 months of travel, planning, changes, delays and a few tears – but plenty of excitement, my new gift packaging is here!!!

In my 17 years of being a jewelry maker, my gift packaging has gone through several iterations.  I started with a simple organza bag, moved on to basic off-the-shelf gift boxes, then on to my first custom gift box design.  And now…something so precious and lovely that I can’t help but smile when I think of it. {sigh}

I must say looking back, I’m so proud of my packaging changes, but possibly even prouder of my improved photography skills!  Whoa!  That’s craziness.

I work super hard behind-the-scenes to make sure your pearls are perfect (another blog post about that is coming soon), your gift wrap is gorgeous, and that her pearls make it all the way to her hands without a hitch.  I think you’d be surprised at the journey of this gift packaging’s path into existence.  It was quite a roller coaster, but a ride definitely done out of love.

It all started in 2015 – hubby and I packed up and flew to the bright lights of Las Vegas to our very first major trade show.  Coming from our little town of Lompoc, we were crazy overwhelmed.  Holy moly!  We had spent weeks making a plan of attack, so we didn’t miss any vendors at the show.  It was all mapped out & loaded up on the phone.

It took us THREE solid 8 hour days just to get through all of the vendors.  We had meetings and looked through what seemed like a gazillion box choices with scores of vendors.  We were exhausted, so we spent the last night binge watching House of Cards in our gorgeous room at the Aria – while looking out over the beautiful lights of the strip.

We left Las Vegas exhausted, with a bag full of colorful business cards, brochures, and contact information.  We even ran into my business crush, Lisa Leonard, at the airport in Santa Maria [I was too nervous to say hello].  Goodness. {blush}  I felt like a goofy groupie.  So silly!  The funny thing is that I’ve been in the jewelry biz far longer, but she’s just AMAZING.  Seriously.  Amazing.  Cat got your tongue kind of amazing.  But I digress…

After looking through the piles of the colorful brochures and business cards, the research began.  I spent literally 3 months researching, contacting, chatting, requesting samples, and generally getting to know several box manufacturers across the country.  I wanted to find the perfect box to hold the pearls while still sticking within the budget, so I didn’t have to raise my prices just because of gift packaging.

We found a company relatively close to home (and only a few minutes from Disneyland…can’t beat that!)  So we took the trek down several different times to meet with the company, design the boxes, choose all…the…things.  It’s insane how many decisions go in to making a superb box!  The shell, the fabric, the lining, the outer covering, the hot stamping foil choice, the outer gift packer, the bow.  Then I found the best anti-tarnish cloth that was also soft enough to safely store pearls, and I hired a seamstress to custom-make my special anti-tarnish pearl pouches to fit perfectly inside of our new custom boxes.  Hooray!!

We found that to have the manufacturer tie the ribbon on top of the box (not around the box…I want you to be able to open them before gifting), was going to QUADRUPLE the price.  What?!?!  Seriously.  Craziness.  So I sourced the perfect pink ribbon and now we individually cut, attach, and hand-tie each ribbon to the top of each box, right here in our little California studio.

So after a crazy journey of elation, disappointments, joys and tears…I present to you the fancy schmancy gift packaging that comes complimentary with every Little Girl’s Pearls order!

So what do you think?  Do you love it, too?  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!! ♥

Follow me on Pinterest for more goodies and lovely things!

Fruit and Fun Printable Class Valentines

It’s here!  Hooray!  I love making these every year.  This is my third annual free Valentine’s Card printable & I went a with a bit of vintage inspired fruit & fun theme.  This is my most popular post every year – hooray!!  I’ve added the links to the previous years’ Valentine’s below in case you’d like to see them all.  They’re perfect for your kid’s classroom Valentine Party or your very own Galentine celebration with your bestie!

It’s still early enough that you won’t have to stay up the night before Valentine’s Day, frantically gluing, glittering and stickering…I’ve got your back, mama.  Just print, cut & have your kiddo sign them.  Super easy peasy.

Okay, lovelies, I printed mine on matte photo paper (matte, so that they can be signed by your little).  But honestly, card stock will totally work in a pinch!  Don’t fret!  You’ve totally got this.  If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can send them to a photo printing place like Staples or Walmart, otherwise your home printer is just fine.

If you’re feeling super extra fancy, feel free to tape a heart chocolate on the back of the card (or a quarter for older kids if you’re looking for a candy-free Valentine option).  Voila, chocolate, cute cards, signed by your kiddo…score one for mom!

Okay, so click the button below to download your PDF printable.  Then print away!  It will print on a regular old 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper, and the cards measure 3.5″ square (that will help when you’re measuring out to cut).

How did it go?  If you use the cards (from any of the years), I would sooooo love to hear your stories & see how they turned out for you!  If you tag them #littlegirlspearls when you post them, I will be able to find them.  I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with!!

Are you looking for more Valentine Printables?  Check out our other free sets:

Happy Valentine’s Day, you lovely mama!

Follow me on Pinterest for more goodies and lovely things!

Easy Thanksgiving Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained While You Cook

Your family probably already has a few traditions of your own for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a special routine for saying what you’re thankful for, or maybe everyone looks forward to grandma’s signature pie all year long. Thanksgiving is also a great time to start some new traditions, particularly if you’re looking for fun activities that kids will love to take part in.

1.    Succulent Place Cards
This is such a fun and easy activity for kiddos during the holidays!  While the house is a big hub of craziness and activity, you can send the kids outside for this quick and easy Thanksgiving or Christmas craft.  Littles and bigs will love making place cards for everyone around the holiday table.  Then all of the guests can have a sweet little succulent planter to take home after the delicious dinner.  Head HERE for full step-by-step photo instructions to show you how to make them.

Step-by-Step photo instructions to make succulent place cards for your holiday table

2.    Get the Kids Involved with Foraged Bouquets for the Table
The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving can get overwhelming for kids.  Everyone is excited, the house smells amazing, family and friends are ringing the bell…chaos is sure to follow.  One thing our boys love to do is head outside in the fresh air to get some energy out.  Send an older kid or an adult with the kids to pick a bouquet of “foraged” leaves, flowers and sticks (or several small bouquets).  Then they can put them in mason jars or vases on the Thanksgiving table.  Fun, festive & it gets the wiggles out!

foraged-thanksgiving-bouquets

3.    A Thankful Book
Instead of simply saying what you’re thankful for around the dinner table, how about having each person write it down? Then save the notes in a scrapbook or binder. It’s fun to set out a blank book or paper with pencils, crayons, stickers and markers for everyone to write down their thankful list while dinner is cooking.  It keeps the kids busy, and you can look back on it together every Thanksgiving.  Erin over at Home Literacy Blueprint made the cutest thankful books with her kiddos!

Idea and adorable photo from Home Literacy Blueprint

4.    Pin the Feather on the Turkey
If you have a lot of young kids in your family (or teenagers who like to be goofy like mine), pin the feather on the turkey is a great game to keep them entertained and get them in the Thanksgiving spirit. This is just like pin the tail on the donkey, except you’re using a paper turkey and feathers of different colors. For added fun, have each kid create and decorate their own feather out of card stock, stickers, pens, pencils…whatever you have lying around. They can write what they are thankful for & it makes the turkey so adorable when they’re finished!  Make sure you take a picture as a memento!

precious graphic from Living Well Mom – head on over there for instructions

What fun family traditions or kid activities does your family do for the holidays?  I’d love to learn some new ideas! ♥

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